Callers claim to be holding a loved one hostage; no actual kidnappings reported.

Washington County Sheriff's Deputies on Monday took several reports from county residents who received phone calls in which the caller claimed to have kidnapped a family member and demanded money.

The complainants reported that an unknown caller told them a family member was being held hostage. During the calls, realistic-sounding screams and yelling could be heard in the background. The caller demanded ransom money in order to release the "hostage."

In none of these reports is there evidence that anyone has been kidnapped or harmed.

Miles Vance, prep sports editor for Pamplin Media Group, The Times' parent company, reported being the victim of this scam in an opinion column in the Aug. 10 edition of The Times. In that instance, the caller claimed to be holding Vance's daughter and demanded money. While Vance drove to a bank, his wife tracked down their daughter and discovered she was all right. No money exchanged hands, Vance said.

The Sheriff's Office urges people who have information about this or any crime to call the non-emergency dispatch number at 503-629-0111.

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